Asna Japan

Not your ordinary loo

Asna was looking forward to trying the advanced bidet toilets found in Japan. She got excited after watching a video about them on Youtube.

The first thing we did after we passed the immigration at Haneda International was not to get our luggage – but to head to the loo! We went into a cubicle together so I could teach her how to use the toilet. So excited that she tried all the buttons, one by one, giggling all the way.


Controls on the wall of the toilet at Haneda Airport.

So how does one use an advanced toilet in Japan?
  • If available or provided, cover the seat with the cover provided or wipe it with sanitizer
  • Take time and answer the call of nature
  • Choose and press either “SHOWER” or “BIDET” to clean yourself up (bidet is supposedly catered to women – if you know what I mean – but you can try both) and choose spray strength
  • Had enough? Press “STOP”
  • Dry yourself by pressing “DRY” the toilet will shoot you with cool air for drying
  • Or use toilet paper — note that toilet papers in Japan are designed to be thrown in the toilet, so flush them after use

Some of the toilets provide English instructions on how to use them. They’re aware how foreign these toilets may seem to a non-Japanese. I need to mention that not all toilets are as good as this, as it depends on the places you go or stay. While some are better, some come with more basic functions.

As soon as we got out of the loo and on the way back to the baggage claim, Asna exclaimed:

“The toilet here is amazing! I dont just like it, I LOVE IT!”

She looked forward to using bidet toilets later on and now wishes we could have them at home.

Here’s a typical toilet at a shopping mall in Japan. This was taken at Shinjuku Station’s Odakyu:


A clean sanitary bin germophobics would love. Absolutely no touching required – just place hand near the sensor on top of the bin and it’ll auto open. Do the same to close.


A changing board. Another practical amenity provided. When there’s a need to change clothes, it’s understandable that a person wouldn’t want to touch the toilet floor, so what she has to do is just pull the changing board forward, take her shoes off and step onto the clean board to change. the cubicles got either one or a few hooks for putting bags or hanging coats.


Here’s a baby seat, making it easier for parents who are shopping alone and need to go to the loo. They won’t have to worry when their kid is in front of them.


The main part: the high tech toilet. Controls are placed at the side of the toilet most of the time. During winter, the toilet seats are heated. As one sits, too, a flushing sound plays (so that people won’t hear you doing your business, very practical!). With certain toilets, you can even control when and how loud you want it to play – I’ve seen one that plays music!


The larger and modern malls, like Colette-Mare in Yokohama, have powder rooms. Powder rooms even come with hairdryers at times! The one pictured above is a little OTT with the wallpapers and fancy lighting. Still love it. How can one not?

It’s really cool how they keep their toilets clean and provide convenience to the customers with all these. Don’t you wish we’d have this in Malaysia? Like Asna, I’d personally like an advanced toilet in my bathroom too!

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  • Avatar
    March 31, 2012 at 10:00 AM

    oh my mia!! it is so cool!!!!!!!!!!!
    i love the changing board the most!!!! 🙂
    and also the dryer… hehe

  • Avatar
    March 31, 2012 at 6:57 PM

    wooow superb!

  • Avatar
    March 31, 2012 at 8:34 PM

    Yup, I wish kat Msia toilet bersih. At least kat Perth ni, walaupun kalau kat ulu or pendalaman mana, toilet tetap bersih walaupun tak secanggih mcm Japan. Akak selalu gi ke caravan park/holiday park utk roadtrip holiday. Kalau kena pakai common bathroom or toilet mmg tak geli. Gerenti bersih. Wangi pulak tu.

    To answer your previous question akak tinggal kat Perth, WA…

    • Avatar
      April 2, 2012 at 6:39 PM

      Hi again. That’s really nice to know. In Japan pun it’s not guaranteed that toilets at lesser known parks will be as clean or nice-smelling. Thanks for the comment!

  • Avatar
    April 5, 2012 at 1:42 PM

    OMG the toilets are so awesomeeee! wait till you see the ones in China. So bad can die 🙁

    • Avatar
      April 5, 2012 at 1:44 PM

      I have! In China I had to tahan… and avoid the toilets as much as possible.

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